Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Emotional Triggers

I wish I had more time to spend here.  Life with a toddler is hectic and trying to balance work, family and a little personal time sometimes seems like an impossible feat.

I realized on my drive home today that it's March, and it was three years ago that we were waiting for our referral to Mount Sinai to investigate Olivia's mysterious condition (you can read her story here).  At the same time, Everybody Hurts came on my iPod and immediately I was brought to tears.  It's amazing how a simple song can bring you to your knees.

But it's not the only thing that's had me thinking about Olivia this week.  A woman I met on Twitter, Heather (aka @TJZMommy), is facing the 2nd anniversary of the loss of her three year old son Zackie this month.  This week she posted about returning to Sick Kids for a fundraising event, the place where she spent many hours watching him slowly slip away.  Heather tweeted about her anxiety about visiting the hospital, as she hadn't been there since he passed.  I know the pain of losing an infant I only knew from an ultrasound and her kicks inside my belly, I can't even imagine the grief of losing a child you grew to know and love.

It immediately brought me back to the feelings I had with Noah's first ultrasound, and the anxiety of waiting for the technician to tell me everything was ok.  I remember feeling nauseous the entire time, and at the end I asked her if the baby's head was ok.  She looked at me quizzically and said the doctor would review the results with me (the same statement I heard with Olivia's ultrasound when they made me wait 24 hours to hear the bad news).  I immediately broke down and explained what happened.  She immediately softened and explained that the baby was fine and showed me the screen.  But despite that, I was still terrified during every ultrasound until they showed me the screen.

To this day, every time I drive past Mount Sinai hospital, I get a lump in my throat.  Nothing good happened there.  They told us Olivia's skull hadn't formed properly and her brain was exposed, and she couldn't survive outside my body.  We signed the paperwork authorizing the induction.  And I spent two long days in a lonely room at the end of the maternity floor, waiting for my dead baby to be born, while couples down the hall were joyously welcoming their perfect bundles.

I will never forget the song that was playing in the car when we drove home from the hospital, empty handed.  It's called Awkward Goodbye by Athlete, and I remember losing it in the car when the chorus sang "No one knows how I love you, no one comes even close".  It's intended to be a love song but at that moment it broke my heart.

Everyone has triggers that bring memories flooding back, it could be a song, a place, a smell.  What are yours?


  1. Songs are a huge trigger for me, sometimes I will immediately change the station, other times, I will just have a really good cry.

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